Suspect in New Year’s Eve Attack on Istanbul Nightclub Captured Alive

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Suspect aught with his son in a raid in an Istanbul suburb.

The man authorities suspect of being behind the New Year’s Eve attack on an Istanbul nightclub has been captured alive, according to Turkish police sources.

The alleged attacker was caught with his son in a raid on the Esenyurt suburb of Istanbul, sources said.

Thirty-nine people were killed in the attack and dozens more were injured.

Authorities said the gunman fired 180 rounds of 7.62-mm bullets, which are commonly used in AK-47 assault rifles. The attacker also used flares to illuminate the inside of the nightclub during the attack, according to police.

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Police said they don’t believe the weapon used in the attack came from inside Turkey. The serial number on the weapon had been defaced. Read the rest of this entry »


58% of Woman in Germany Feel it Has Become Dangerous for Them in Public

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(Source in German) For days we will discuss whether it was in order that the Cologne police called young men from North Africa as “Nafris” (police talk for North African offenders).

Women dare not obvious what they used to large parties in the public space – and not only in Cologne: The police reported that the great places were strikingly female free in many German cities.

Have the events of recent months changed the lives of women in Germany or even restricted their freedom?

Source: Bild.de


Will Obama take Cheap Shots at President-Elect Trump During Farewell Speech? 

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Nationalists Overtake Merkel’s Doomed, Spectacularly Unpopular Pro-Immigration Party in a German State Legislature Vote

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Merkel’s refugee policies were a prominent issue in the campaign for Sunday’s election, which came a year to the day after she decided to let in migrants from Hungary — setting off the peak of last year’s influx. Germany registered more than 1 million people as asylum seekers last year.

A nationalist, anti-immigration party performed strongly in a German state election Sunday in the region where Chancellor Angela Merkel has her political base, overtaking her conservative party to take second place amid discontent with the leader’s migrant policies, projections indicated Sunday.

The three-year-old Alternative for Germany, or AfD, won about 21% of votes in the election for the state legislature in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, according to projections for ARD and ZDF television based on exit polls and partial counting. They put support for Merkel’s Christian Democrats at between 19% and 20%, which would be their worst result yet in the state.

The center-left Social Democrats, who lead the outgoing state government, were expected to be the strongest party with about 30% support.

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Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, an economically weak region in Germany’s northeastern corner, is home to 1.6 million of the country’s 80 million people and is a relative political lightweight. It is, however, the state where Merkel has her parliamentary constituency, and Sunday’s vote was the first of five regional votes before a national election just over a year away.

National AfD leader Frauke Petry celebrated “a blow to Angela Merkel.” Local AfD leader Leif-Erik Holm told supporters: “Perhaps this is the beginning of the end of Angela Merkel’s chancellorship today.”

[Read the full AP story here, at the LA Times]

Merkel’s refugee policies were a prominent issue in the campaign for Sunday’s election, which came a year to the day after she decided to let in migrants from Hungary — setting off the peak of last year’s influx. Germany registered more than 1 million people as asylum seekers last year.

New arrivals in Germany have slowed drastically this year, and Mecklenburg is home to relatively few foreigners. Still, New Year’s Eve robberies and sexual assaults blamed largely on foreigners, as well as two attacks in July carried out by asylum seekers and claimed by Islamic State, have fed tensions.

Merkel has stuck to her insistence that “we will manage” the refugee crisis and has also said that “sometimes you have to endure such controversies.” Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Flying Over Beijing: What Does it Look Like When Most of the Population of a Vast Metropolis Sets Off Fireworks at Once?

What does it look like when most of the population of a vast metropolis sets off fireworks at once? YouTube contributor Parelius was flying into Beijing at midnight last week on Chinese New Year and captured this awesome footage of his view through his window on the plane: fireworks, both large and small, going off all over the city. It’s such a dazzling sight, we feel like we should be holding sparklers while watching.

[via Sploid]


Stampede at Shanghai New Year’s celebration kills 35

A family member (C) cries on a bench at a hospital where some of the victims of a stampede by new year's revellers were sent in Shanghai on January 1, 2015. A stampede by New Year's revellers in Shanghai's historic riverfront area killed 35 people and injured dozens more, the city government said on January 1.   CHINA OUT   AFP PHOTO        (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)

A family member (C) cries on a bench at a hospital where some of the victims of a stampede by new year’s revellers were sent in Shanghai on January 1, 2015. A stampede by New Year’s revellers in Shanghai’s historic riverfront area killed 35 people and injured dozens more, the city government said on January 1.  AFP PHOTO STR/AFP/Getty Images


April Fools Day Facts: How Pranks Are Going Viral

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A classic April Fools’ Day prank in France is to stick a paper fish onto an unsuspecting passerby. PHOTO BY JACK GAROFALO, PARIS MATCH VIA GETTY

 Today is April Fools’ Day—the prankster’s favorite day of the year.

Taryn Salinas writes:  We talked to Alex Boese, curator of the online Museum of Hoaxes in San Diego, California, to get the lowdown on this quirky holiday and how it has changed over time.

Boese said he has never been much of a prankster; his family didn’t participate in April Fools’ Day pranks at all. But as a science historian and recognized “hoaxpert” (hoax expert), the more he’s studied humorous pranks and hoaxes, the more he enjoys it. (See “April Fools’ Day: Nature’s Wildest Masters of Deception.”)

In recent years, Boese has noticed that the number of pranks done in the home and at the office seems to have decreased in the United States.

“A hundred years ago, most people played pranks at home, on the street, or in the office. It was considered a nuisance holiday. Today we lack the street culture to encourage [and get away with] pranks on strangers in public.”

Pranks of a personal nature have been replaced by large institutionalized media hoaxes. Viral marketing has caused a sea change in how advertising is approached, and Boese says April Fools’ Day has been a huge driver of it. (Related: “April Fools’ Day Special: History’s Hoaxes.”)

“In the last five to seven years we’ve seen an explosion of spoof ads by mainstream companies and organizations like the U.S. Army.”

Because of sites like YouTube and Twitter, content can go viral instantly, and April Fools’ Day provides a legitimate excuse to produce a fresh and funny video, in the hopes of earning widespread exposure.

“Companies feel enormous pressure to create these humorous videos, fearing that if they don’t come out with one, they’ll be considered unfunny or irrelevant,” said Boese.

“I don’t get sick of it at all,” he said. “People love consuming humorous content, and April Fools’ Day is a holiday specifically about this.”

Boese is a little sad about the loss of personal participation, but he’s delighted that the Internet has become such a great resource for humor. Read the rest of this entry »


Chinese New Year lifehacks: how to get home when a billion others are doing the same

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Lily Kuo has a great item at Quartz. She writes:

This week, over 200 million people have begun traveling home to celebrate the spring festival, chunjie, or Chinese New Year, part of the world’s biggest annual mass migration which invariably strains the country’s transportation system with days-long traffic jams, flight delays, and near-riots over sold-out train tickets.

This year should be especially bad. Transportation officials estimate that China’s 1.3 billion people will take an average of three trips each by rail, air, and road over the 40 day period that marks the holiday, for a record total of 3.62 billion trips (link in Chinese). That’s 200 million more trips than last year.

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Read the rest of this entry »


The 13 Most Annoying People of 2013

PJboyRedJim Goad  writes:  As someone who’s offended by nothing but annoyed by everyone, I found no shortage of people this past year to stoke the angry embers of my irascible soul. Try as I may to shield my eyes from the countless blinding petty indignities and massive vexations of everyday existence, each sunrise seemed to drop a new human being on my doorstep to annoy me.

I tend to focus on the negative at the expense of everything else, so when I looked back over the past year, I immediately began thinking of people who annoyed me. It was hard to winnow down my list to only 13 selections. They are ranked in ascending levels of annoyance. Although I bear no personal ill will toward any of these people, nor do I engage in any violent fantasies about them, it would not be untrue to say that I would not cry if, say, any of them were to be struck dead by a train in the coming New Year.

If you understand the basic principles behind the butterfly effect, you would be forced to agree with me that these are all people who, each in their own way, have made life a little harder for all of us this year. Through their very existence, they force you and I to suffer. Damn them. Damn them all to hell!

13. UNNAMED 64-YEAR-OLD SOUTH CAROLINIAN STABBING VICTIM AND FAN OF EAGLES MUSIC
In September a rough, beaten-up-looking South Carolina woman named Vernett Bader was arrested after allegedly slashing her housemate with a 14-inch serrated bread knife. Her victim, an unnamed 64-year-old man, had allegedly told her to “shut up” after she complained that he’d been playing too much music by the classic rock band Eagles. (It can never be repeated enough, if only to ratchet up the annoyance factor, that the band is not called The Eagles—they are simply random, unspecified Eagles.) And refusing to quit blasting your stupid, overplayed Eagles music when your torn-and-frayed female housemate requests that you do so qualifies as annoying enough to warrant being stabbed. He should be grateful she didn’t kill him.

“These are all people who, each in their own way, have made life a little harder for all of us this year.”

12. UNNAMED SHRIEKING CANADIAN FEMINIST
Back in April, a group of typically sincere and comically misguided men’s-rights activists was trying to peaceably air its views at the University of Toronto when a chanting pack of progressive albino twat-monkeys pulled the fire alarm and disrupted the event. Outside the building, a plump harpy with her hair dyed the color of menstrual blood that had been exposed to nuclear radiation barked and howled and belittled the persistently peaceable and earnest MRAs in a breathtakingly hostile videotaped rant that singlehandedly managed to justify every misogynist stereotype throughout world history. After the video became viral, she was apparently harassed and threatened into hiding, and I can only hope that wherever she’s hiding, there’s no man there for her to yell at.

11. DAVID OLANDER
Would any sane person think that a dry batch of asparagus is evidence of systemic racism? Of course not, but we’re living in racially insane times. The award for the year’s pettiest racial complaint goes to David Olander, a member of the human relations commission in University City, MO. After espying a relatively desiccated bunch of asparagus at a Schnucks grocery store in a predominantly black neighborhood, Olander says he remembered that the asparagus at a Schnucks in a mostly white neighborhood was much fresher, moister, and more vibrant. Olander fired off a letter of racial grievance to Scott Schnuck of Schnucks, which I only mention so I can repeat the phrase “Scott Schnuck of Schnucks.”

Read the rest of this entry »